The first time I made pasta was with a load of friends. We had no idea what we were doing. We kneaded the dough on a table (it might have been clean?), we jammed it through a hand-crank pasta machine and we ate gobs of delicious pasta with a simple tomato sauce. Yes, we drank too much wine. Yes, we had a spectacular time. Yes, I was hooked on pasta making.
The second time I made pasta, I turned it into an artisanal affair. I'd cleaned off my working table so it looked like a gorgeous harvest table you'd find in somewhere like Puglia (I couldn't find Puglia on a map btw), and I had all of the necessary accoutrements including a little wooden tool for rolling out by hand. I learned from my cousin, who'd attended a workshop at George Brown in Toronto about how to make pasta. We measured and attended and learned the optimum number of cranks through the machine. Yes, we drank too much wine. Yes, we had a spectacular time. Yes, I continued to be hooked on pasta making.
I bought my own Imperia Pasta Machine and got to work. I watched videos and followed a NY Times recipe for fresh pasta to the letter. Thus far, I have avoided fancy pasta shapes like the pros crank out on Pasta Grannies (maybe when I'm 90!). My favourite pasta shape to make is fettucine. I love the way the sauce clings to the thick strands. I also love the chewy mouth feel of it. At the height of summer, I also love making a free-form lasagna filled with grilled zucchini, grilled tomato, mozzarella then studded with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts (maybe that's a recipe for a future blog). Finally, making ravioli is also spectacular and much easier than I would have guessed.
Anyway, I'm rambling. Here you'll find my recipe for fresh pasta; a few tips and videos to hopefully help you jump in as well as my favourite pasta dish, Sage Butter & Garlic Breadcrumb Pasta. You'll find that in an earlier blog post here: Don't Toss Your Stale Bread
Let's get started
My Recipe for Fresh Pasta
Yield: Serves 6Ingredients
- Mix together flour and salt
- Mound it onto a clean surface such as your counter or table
- Make a well in the flour
- Put a bowl on a scale and zero it. Add the eggs and egg whites. Add enough water to this mixture to weigh 185 g
- Pour this egg/water mixture into the well of flour and salt
- Blend with a fork or a bench scraper until combined
- Knead 10 minutes or until the dough becomes pliable and uniform under your hands
- Cover with a damp cloth and rest 30 min
Rolling out the dough
Making Nests Using a Pasta Cloth
Tips and Tricks
- Don't stress out. There are 4 ingredients here. You got this!
- Cultivate watching video from the pros such as Pasta Grannies
- Use 00 flour
- Use the freshest, best eggs you can find
- When kneading, remember when you made mud pies as a kid? Just get a feel for this thing
- Use a pasta cloth and a little 00 flour when making the nests. You can find one here: lot8 Pasta Cloth
Another Gratuitous Pic